Friday, March 30, 2007

Mommas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cheerleaders

Robert Caplin for The New York Times

The University of Maryland competing at the National Cheerleaders Association United States Championships held earlier this month at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom.

[Notice the team in the right front, falling.]

Besides the horrible traditional female role indoctrination, the worst thing about cheerleading is that those girls have an unacceptable risk of being maimed or killed. Are parents brain dead? At high school sporting events I watch teenagers being thrown in the air by other teenagers, or balancing on the shoulders or the hands of other stupid teenagers. Disaster waiting to happen. Finally, someone got around to studying the most dangerous 'sport'.

Encourage your girls to play real sports. It will help them in myriad ways: confidence, health, strength, self-esteem, teamwork, and competitiveness. (Guess what? Life is competitive. Get used to it early.)

NYTmes: As Cheerleaders Soar Higher, So Does the Danger
Cheerleaders suffer more catastrophic injuries than female athletes in all other sports combined.

There were 22,900 cheerleading-related injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2002, up from 10,900 in 1990, according to the Columbus study. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, meanwhile, reported there were nearly six times as many emergency room visits for cheerleaders in 2004 than in 1980.

Noting that many other injuries probably occur but are treated by private physicians without an emergency room visit, Dr. Frederick Mueller, director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, said, “The real number of cheerleading injuries could be twice as high.”

NYTimes video: Jessica Smith fell headfirst and broke her neck trying to perform a difficult cheerleading stunt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

totally agree; my senior year in college, i was a "runner" for NBC Sports, for a men's basketball game where a cheerleader was 5 people high in a pyramid, and she feel backward thinking she was going to be caught. She hit the floor with a horrible thud, and ended up fracturing her skull. She was so lucky she didn't die, but the NCAA adopted a rule that pyramids couldn't be any higher than three people.